Yes Minister

Credit must be given when and where it’s due. Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry is making all the right noises. His resolve to resuscitate the showbiz industry and modernise the media under government control must be acknowledged. Apart from that, the announcement that he’s going to give a hefty amount to young filmmakers, and that production on films on the lives of Tipu Sultan and Sir Syed Ahmed Khan is about to begin, is no less praiseworthy. However, here’s a tiny nugget of advice to the minister: while the young directors in our country are extremely talented as far as the art of shooting a film goes, for projects such as the two mentioned above, serious research work and mature screenplay writing is required. We hope that you will pay attention in those areas, too.

On All Cylinders

The surge in Covid-19 cases in India has set off alarm bells like never before. The Modi government has come under tremendous criticism for not ensuring enough oxygen supplies in hospitals. In such a situation, actress Sushmita Sen has made arrangements for some oxygen cylinders to be sent from Mumbai to Delhi (where the shortage has been felt the most). For some strange reason, a troll on Twitter mocked her, saying that if the crisis were so grave why had she sent the cylinders to Delhi and not to some similar health facilities in Mumbai. To which Sushmita S replied, “Because Mumbai still has them available, that’s how I found it. Delhi needs it, especially these smaller hospitals. So help if you can.” Indeed, trolls, help if you can, not just press keys on your smartphones.

Talk Show

A lot of us have been wondering for a while where pop star Ali Haider had vanished. Well, here’s the latest on the singer who is now permanently settled in the US: he has been roped in to do a talk show on NTV Houston titled The Ali Haider Show. As it can be guessed, a big number of the channel’s audience comprises South Asians, so his guests on the show will be, to a large extent, Pakistani and Indian celebs. Congratulations, Ali H. And don’t wear your purani jeans to this new programme.

Topless in Karachi

If social media accounts are people’s personal electronic diaries, then why make so much fuss about what they post on it? Well, the fuss usually is about those who are public figures and who can get preachy and sermonising at times. The fact that Shahroz Sabzwari jogged topless after dusk on a Karachi street and then uploaded its video on Instagram is his personal matter. At the same time, those who took issue with it on the platform, reminding him of some of his morally self-righteous posts in the past were also not off the mark. And that’s the half-naked truth.

Click Click!

Due to the pandemic, working on a regular basis (that is, doing a job) has become extremely difficult for everyone. Actors, who are accustomed to round-the-clock razzle-dazzle, are no different. Bollywood (still) hottie Raveena Tandon has found a solution to the problem: doll up, put your best dress on, let someone else take your picture and make it your Insta story — as she recently did. In her words, “Hot summer afternoon, nowhere to go and nothing to do… so strike a pose.” Girl, don’t strike a pose for too long, you’re not a spring chicken anymore. You will get tired.

The New Rohail

Rohail Hyatt used to be (we repeat: used to be) known as a private person who didn’t like to talk much with the mainstream media and his presence on social media was negligible. It was one of the good things about him — he never bragged about himself and never took criticism to heart. Suddenly, things have changed. Ever since the Prime Minister gave that statement on fahashi (vulgarity), the ex-producer of Coke Studio has become active on Twitter, jumping to the PM’s defence, criticising the ‘liberal’ segment of society and, in the process, ruffling the feathers of some prominent individuals, such as singer Jawad Ahmed. Well, all we can say is, the less talkative Rohail H sounded more eloquent.

Published in Dawn, ICON, May 2nd, 2021

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